Even though Barack Obama’s grandmother died two days before election day, Hawaii election officials say they will count her absentee ballot.
Kevin Cronin, the state’s chief elections officer, said Tuesday that state law requires absentee ballots cast by someone who dies before an election to be discarded only if a state death notice arrives before election day.
By election day, Madelyn Dunham had not yet appeared on the state health department’s list of deceased residents, Cronin said. The 86-year-old, who helped raise Obama, died at home late Sunday.
The elections office received her ballot Oct. 27, Cronin said.
“Because she was alive on the 27th and [her ballot] had the same processing as other absentee ballots, it will be counted,” he said.
Different states handle such circumstances differently. Oregon, Montana and Florida, for example, count absentee ballots no matter the subsequent fate of the voter. But absentee voters in South Dakota, Colorado, Idaho and Minnesota must be alive on election day for their vote to count.